Mr. Joseph Boahen Aidoo (NPP --
Amenfi East): Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to also associate myself with the motion on the floor.
Mr. Speaker, the micro economic indicators indicate that the economy continues to be stabilized. Mr. Speaker, inflation in April was around 9.5 per cent. Of course, in May, because of the fuel price increases on the world market inflation went to 10.1 per cent. Mr. Speaker, I take this opportunity to commend the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning and his team and also the Governor of the Bank of Ghana and his team for ensuring that we have a very stable economy.
Mr. Speaker, next year Ghana would
be 50 years since independence; we are going to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Ghana's Independence. It is a very important occasion and therefore we have to plan ahead and get all the resources. It is therefore right that estimates have been made for us to prepare enough and sufficiently towards Ghana's Indepen- dence Jubilee Celebration next year.
Mr. Speaker, I am urging my hon.
Colleagues to support the Estimates but then I have some worry about some aspects of the review in paragraph 229, that is, page 63. Mr. Speaker, it is indicated in that paragraph that the Ministry of Energy has received the preliminary feasibility study report from Volta River Authority (VRA) on the relocation of the Osagyefo Barge to Tema. Mr. Speaker, I am not comfortable with the relocation of the Osagyefo Barge from Efaso to Tema.
Mr. Speaker, just about two or three days
ago, we looked at the petroleum agreement between Ghana Government and Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) on one hand, and then the Tullow (Ghana) Limited on the other hand. Mr. Speaker,
in the report that we have received, we are being told that close to two hundred million cubic feet of gas has been discovered in the Tano basin. Mr. Speaker, the intention of locating the Osagyefo Barge at Efaso was to source these gas reserves which Ghana has abundantly at the place. The barge had been sent there and -- Mr. Speaker, it was actually sent at a very real cost.
Mr. Speaker, for two years this barge was sitting in Takoradi and the Government had to source money to locate the barge in Efaso. Having spent that money -- and Mr. Speaker, if you go to the site we have a lot of installations which also involved costs. Mr. Speaker, buildings have been put up; we have all manner of installations put up at the place and all that the Osagyefo Barge was waiting for was the gas to actually fuel it for it to supply extra energy for Ghana.
Mr. Speaker, now we are hearing that it is going to be relocated to Tema and there is a cost element to that. There is economic cost if it should be relocated; there is social cost; there is also a political cost. Mr. Speaker, to me, it would be very dangerous for the Osagyefo Barge to be relocated to Tema.
Mr. Speaker, I know that the West African Gas Pipeline is terminating at Takoradi, and from Takoradi I also know it requires about 100 million dollars to extend the West African Gas Pipeline to Efaso to provide gas for the barge. Mr. Speaker, here we are being told that we would need 50 million dollars to relocate the barge.
My question is, why do we not look for extra $50 million to extend the West African Gas Pipeline to Efaso and then fuel this barge? Mr. Speaker, to me, the nature of the request is justified, but the purpose for which the $50 million is being
sought for, I am against it.
Mr. Speaker, on that note I am
supporting the Mid-year Estimates but I have some reservations, particularly in respect of paragraph 229 of this document. On that note I thank you, Mr. Speaker, for giving me the opportunity.
Mr. J. K. Gidisu (NDC -- Central
Tongu): Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for the opportunity to get myself associated with the debate on the floor. Mr. Speaker, in doing so I would like to observe that the Committee's Report has not been comprehensive enough to capture other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and I do not want to believe that by that they are trying to draw them to the background.
Mr. Speaker, because we do not have much time I would be limiting myself to some areas, more especially under human resource development.
Mr. Speaker, I am doing so because human resource development has been identified as one of the three pillars of the priority areas of the Government, more especially under the GPRS II, in promoting development of knowledgeable, well- trained and disciplined labour force with the capacity to drive this nation forward.
Mr. Speaker, in furtherance of this,
I would equally want to focus on the education sector, among others. Mr. Speaker, it is very important for us as hon. Members of this House, when discussing and trying to approve further expenditure estimates for the various MDAs, to reflect on what really is the situation on the ground with regard to figures and reports that come before the House.
Mr. Speaker, I am doing so with the